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Communities utilising land for their own benefit: Lenin Street Market Garden in Alexandra holds a planting day

Communities utilising land for their own benefit: Lenin Street Market Garden in Alexandra holds a planting day

The Great South African CookbookThe Lenin Street Market Garden in Alexandra recently held a planting day. The community garden – which used to be a dumping site – is a beneficiary of the sales from The Great South African Cookbook, published by Quivertree Publications.

Partners and sponsors of the garden include the Nelson Mandela Foundation, City of Joburg, Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), Quivertree and Urban Fresh, the two-man company in charge of garden sales.

Communities utilising land for their own benefit: Lenin Street Market Garden in Alexandra holds a planting day


Started in 2011, the Lenin Street Market Garden has received various support from a number of organisations and held different farming and gardening initiatives. But it was time to “kickoff” intensive training, said Robin Hills from the FTFA food garden department. The training would do two things, Hills said. Lessen the garden’s dependency on outside sources and increase output.

“A lot of these activities continue, but they continue in separate little silos. The cookbook has kind of brought it all together. Because it’s like now we’ve got to focus. So this is the kickoff.”

Communities utilising land for their own benefit: Lenin Street Market Garden in Alexandra holds a planting day

Among the book’s contributors in attendance were former True Love food editor Dorah Sitole and Johannesburg-based chef David Higgs.

The response the cookbook was receiving has been “amazing”, Higgs said, adding that, “I love the simplicity of the book. It’s easy reading. And everybody can do it.”

Communities utilising land for their own benefit: Lenin Street Market Garden in Alexandra holds a planting day

Urban Fresh, the garden’s brains and in charge of sales, joined the garden in April. And had done a lot of work to transform the place.

Co-owner Fazlur Pandor talked about the actions they had undertaken since joining. The garden had been a dumping site before.

“We’ve gone to a lot of effort to clean the soil first. When it started, it wasn’t like this. We’ve come a long way. We do soil tests. And we make sure it’s actually safe. We add compost and manure.”

Communities utilising land for their own benefit: Lenin Street Market Garden in Alexandra holds a planting day

Business partner Rogan Field outlined Urban Fresh’s future plans – packaging and processing tomatoes “properly”.

“Eventually, we want to look into value adding, making chili sauces.”

A cold room in the garden premises gave them an advantage over other co-operatives in their network, Field said. However this was no reason for Urban Fresh to “outcompete” them, he said.

Communities utilising land for their own benefit: Lenin Street Market Garden in Alexandra holds a planting day

“Rather to say that this project now must outcompete the other projects, how do we incorporate this project so they can support each other?”

At the garden’s initial opening in 2011, former Joburg Mayor Parks Tau said that communities had no excuses not to utilise land for their own benefit.

“There can be no justification for anyone in Johannesburg to go to bed hungry when there is space that people can use to produce vegetables for their own consumption,” he said at the time.

Communities utilising land for their own benefit: Lenin Street Market Garden in Alexandra holds a planting day

Five years later, the garden now supports 28 employees.

While Urban Fresh talked about expanding the. The garden had been a dumping site network – currently they supply crops to surrounding establishments – Pandor said “building the trust of the community” was more important than maximising their production levels.

“It’s about building the trust of the community,” Pandor said, “It’s about developing a little bit of skills. So we’re not hugely focused right now on achieving maximum production. For the last six months it’s really about just engaging and solidifying our space.”

Pandor’s brother Haroon criticised people who loved calling for “land grab”. If the people were serious, they would, perhaps, plant tomatoes, he said.

Communities utilising land for their own benefit: Lenin Street Market Garden in Alexandra holds a planting day

Lungile Sojini (@success_mail) tweeted live from the event:

Book details

Happy Birthday to The Book Lounge

Like It MattersIncredible JourneyThe Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things and Other StoriesMede-weteTjieng Tjang Tjerries and other storiesnullThe Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology: Vol. VI


This Thursday, 1 December, The Book Lounge turns nine years old!

To celebrate, they are giving 10 per cent off everything in store for the day, and free tea and coffee.

From 6 PM there will be drinks and readings from David Cornwell, Bongani Kona, Antjie Krog, Jolyn Phillips and Koleka Putuma.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

Book details

  • How Free is Free? Reflections on Freedom of Creative Expression in Africa
    EAN: 9780992225216
    Read online for free!

Image: Book Lounge on Facebook

"Finding your voice": Announcing the 2016 Ba re e ne re Literature Festival in Lesotho (9-11 December)

Invitation to the 2016 Ba re e ne re Literature Festival in Lesotho (9 – 11 December)

Alert! The annual Ba re e ne re Literature Festival will take place from Friday, 9 December, to Sunday, 11 December. The theme of this year’s Lesotho-based festival is “Finding your voice” and the proceedings will kick off on Friday evening with a poetry slam event and the launch of the short story anthology Likheleke tsa puo.

This year’s guests include South African wordsmiths Sindiwe Magona, Masande Ntshanga, Ace Moloi and Joe Machina, as well as Efemia Chela, Karina Szczurek and Catherine Shepherd. Lesotho will be well represented by Thato Mochone, Liatile Mohale and Tumelo Moleleki.

The Ba re e ne re Literature Festival was first held in 2011 by the late founder Liepollo Rantekoa. Ba re e ne re is an educational organisation established to enrich the lives of Basotho people through improved literacy and creative platforms for expression. The festival aims to provide literary training for the next generation of writers and leaders, to connect Lesotho’s literary community with the rest of Africa, and to address issues through the use of literature.

The three-day event will close with a writer’s workshop hosted by The Alliance Française of Maseru and Short Story Day Africa.

For more information, visit the Ba re e ne re Literature Festival’s website and Facebook page.

Chasing The Tails of My Father’s CattleTo My Children's ChildrenThe ReactiveThe ReactiveHolding My Breath
Adults OnlyInvisible OthersWaterHer Heart

Press release

As the team behind Ba re e ne re, we’re extremely excited to announce that our annual event the Ba re e ne re Literature Festival will be held from 9 to 11 December, 2016. We have some incredible activities and guests lined up. We’ll be hosting a poetry open mic and Likheleke tsa puo short-story anthology book launch at Rockview in Khubetsoana from 6 to 10 PM on Friday the 9th. On Saturday, 10 December, from 10 AM to 5 PM we’ll have panel discussions, kids’ activities, a craft market with Nala Social Market and the annual Liepollo Rantekoa Keynote given by the renowned author Sindiwe Magona at Maseru Preparatory School. On Sunday, 11 December, at Alliance Française we’ll host a writing workshop facilitated by Cape Town-based collective Short Story Day Africa from 12 to 4 PM. The theme of the 2016 edition of the Ba re e ne re Literature Festival is “Finding your voice”.

2016 Ba re e ne re Literature Festival Guest biographies

International guests

Sindiwe Magona is a writer, poet, dramatist, storyteller, actress and motivational speaker. She has published autobiographical works, novels and several children’s books over the years. We are very excited to hear her address on the importance of finding our voices as writers. Until 1994 she presented UN radio programmes about the UN’s role in ending apartheid. She then worked in the UN’s Public Information Department until 2003.

Masande Ntshanga was the winner of the 2013 PEN International New Voices Award. He graduated with a degree in Film and Media and an Honours degree in English Studies from the University of Cape Town. He received a Fulbright Award and a National Research Foundation Freestanding Masters scholarship. His debut novel, The Reactive, was published in 2014 by Penguin Random House South Africa. After much interest in the United Kingdom, publisher Jacaranda Books have acquired the rights to publish Masande’s acclaimed literary novel in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth. An American edition of the novel was published earlier this year, and German translation rights have also been sold.

Ace Moloi graduated from the University of the Free State where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Science. He was the editor of Young Minds Magazine, a founding editor of Student Leverage Magazine, as well as a former IRAWA Post news editor. In 2013 he self-published his first book, In her fall rose a nation, with New Voices Publishing. His second book, Holding My Breath, was published by Blackbird Books, an imprint of Jacana Media in May of 2016. Ace describes the Exclusive Books (Free State) bestselling memoir as a graveside conversation with his mother.

Joe Machina, born Norman Ncube in Bulawayo Zimbabwe, is a freelance journalist, a member of “Johannesburg writers” and a co-founder of Write Africa. Joe left Bulawayo in search of a new life in Johannesburg. When he first arrived in the new city, he worked as a journalist, and his writing appeared in the Mail & Guardian, and an array of other South African publications. Joe’s work is primarily inspired by the immigrant experience: why do people leave their homes in different parts of the world, to go to foreign lands where they were subject to discrimination, xenophobic attacks and even death? Who drives people to make these difficult decisions? Who is responsible for this suffering? His debut novel Victims of greed was published by Bahati Books.

Short Story Day Africa facilitators

Efemia Chela was born in Zambia in 1991, but grew up all over the world. She studied at Rhodes University, South Africa and Institut D’Etudes Politiques in Aix-En-Provence, France. Her first published story, “Chicken” was nominated for The 2014 Caine Prize For African Writing. Efemia’s subsequent stories and poems have been published in places like Brittle Paper, Jalada, Short.Sharp.Stories: Adults Only, Prufrock and PEN Passages: Africa. Efemia is currently a fellow of the inaugural Short Story Day Africa / Worldreader Editing Mentorship Programme and continues to write fiction whenever she can find a moment on the train and a working pen.

Karina Szczurek was born in Jelenia Góra, Poland, and lived in Austria, the United States and Wales, before finding a home in South Africa when she met and married the author André Brink. She was editor in chief of Water: New Short Fiction from Africa (with Nick Mulgrew, 2015) among many others. Her play for young adults A Change of Mind won the MML Literature Award in the Category English Drama in 2012. She writes short stories, book reviews, essays, and poetry. Invisible Others, her first novel, was longlisted for the 2015 Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize.

Catherine Shepherd started writing as a child but it was only recently through projects like Short Story Day Africa and Writivism Literary Initiative that she got the courage to put her writing out there. Catherine has a degree in journalism from Rhodes University. Catherine is currently a fellow of the inaugural Short Story Day Africa / Worldreader Editing Mentorship Programme and is editing an anthology of young writers under the supervision of Szczurek. Her short stories have appeared in various publications including My Holiday Shorts, My Maths Teacher Hates Me, Imagine Africa 500 and the 2016 Writivism Anthology. She lives in Cape Town, but has plans to build a writer’s retreat in Suurbraak.

Lesotho-based guests

Thato Mochone is an ambassador of World Vision Lesotho, a Kaya FM correspondent, Martin Luther King Fellow, Mandela Washington Fellow, media consultant and blogger. She is an advocate for youth and women empowerment as well as the LGBT community, an activist journalist interested in social justice, a volunteer fundraiser for an orphanage in her hometown and an English and Geography tutor. She is currently the Communication and Foundation Specialist at Vodacom Foundation after over five years working as a radio personality on Ultimate FM.

Liatile Mohale is a Fulbright scholar who graduated in May 2016 with an impressive 4.0 GPA for her Master’s Degree in Theatre Arts, at San Francisco State University. Before then she obtained her BA in Drama and Theatre Arts from the University of the Free State. Besides being an avid storyteller who tackles pressing social issues and Sesotho culture through theatre, she is a theatre teacher at Machabeng college and has sat as a judge on the Vodacom superstar contest.

Tumelo Moleleki started writing when she was still young and in high school as an outlet because the creative writing she did then always felt so stifling. She self-published a book called Her Heart after which she received an offer from an American company called Dorrance Publishing. In 2006 she got the opportunity to work in Belgium where she took French lessons and developed her grammar skills. She is currently working on manuscripts in French and Sesotho.


Ba re e ne re Literature Festival 2016 would not be possible without the generous support of Miles Morland Foundation, Vodacom Foundation, Unesco, Maseru Prep School, Alliance Francaise, MXXL radio, Bahati Books, Short Story Day Africa, Nala Social Market and Rockview.


Ba re e ne re is a registered educational organisation whose mission is to enrich the lives of Basotho people by promoting initiatives that support improved literacy and creative platforms for expression. Through our work, Basotho, and youth in particular, access training and outlets to practice literacy and share the unique stories Lesotho has to offer with local and international audiences.

Our flagship project is the Ba re e ne re Literature Festival, first held in 2011 by our late founder Liepollo Rantekoa. The festival is an annual international literary arts event, which brings writers, readers and leaders together to share ideas and creative works.

The three goals of the Ba re e ne re Literature Festival are focused for high impact. Through our programming, we aim to:

  • Cultivate the next generation of writers and storytellers in Lesotho through literary training and platforms for expression.
  • Connect Lesotho’s literary arts community with creatives in other African countries and beyond for creative exchange and improved publishing opportunities.
  • Instigate the use of literature as a tool to address pressing socio-economic and political issues within Lesotho.

For more information please visit our Facebook, our website, send us an email at or give us a call on 28322405.

Ke tšomo ka mathetho!


Book details

Kom geniet ’n Boek en Koek-viering van Lugkasteel deur Annelie Botes in Pretoria

Uitnodiging na die bekendstelling van Lugkasteel deur Annelie Botes

LugkasteelGraffiti Zambezi Junction en Penguin Random House nooi jou graag na die bekendstelling van Annelie Botes se jongste boek, Lugkasteel.

Die geleentheid vind plaas op Donderdag, 1 Desember by O’Galito Zambezi Junction en begin om 9:00 vir 9:30. Kaartjies kos R70 per persoon en sluit in heerlike versnaperinge.

In Lugkasteel vertel die gesoute skrywer die verhaal van haar destydse pos in Engeland as goewernante van vier onhebbelike bloubloed-seuntjies.

Moenie dit misloop nie!



Kom luister na Albert Grundlingh in gesprek met Hermann Giliomee oor Historikus: ’n Outobiografie in Stellenbosch

Uitnodiging na die bekendstelling van Historikus: 'n Outobiografie deur Hermann Giliomee

Historikus: 'n OutobiografieHistorian: An AutobiographyTafelberg nooi jou graag na die bekendstelling van Historikus: ’n Outobiografie deur Hermann Giliomee.

Albert Grundlingh gesels op Saterdag, 3 Desember met die skrywer oor sy jongste boek waarin hy sy eie lewensverhaal verweef met dié van die land en die mense wat hom fassineer. Die gesprek begin om 11:00 by Protea Boekwinkel Stellenbosch.

Giliomee is bekend as uitgesproke politieke kommentator en wêreldkenner van die Afrikaners. Moenie die opwindende geleentheid misloop nie!


Oor die boek

As uitgesproke kommentator wat voor en ná 1994 met die regering gebots het, een van die Dakar-gangers wat al in die 1980s die ANC gaan ontmoet het en wêreldkenner van die Afrikaners, is Giliomee ten nouste betrokke by ons land se geskiedenis – en hoe ons dit verstaan. Hier verweef hy sy eie lewensverhaal met dié van die land en die mense wat hom fassineer in leesbare, narratiewe vorm, vol staaltjies en onvertelde verhale.

Ook beskikbaar in Engels.

Oor die outeur

Hermann Buhr Giliomee is op 4 April 1938 op Sterkstroom in die Oos-Kaap gebore. Hy gaan skool op Porterville en studeer Geskiedenis aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch.

Hy werk daarna by die Departement van Buitelandse Sake en gee ook klas aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch. Vanaf 1983 tot 1998 was hy Professor in Politieke Studies aan die Universiteit van Kaapstad. Van 1995 tot 1997 was hy president van die Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut vir Rasseaangeleenthede. Hy is tans ’n Buitengewone Professor in Geskiedenis aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch.

Giliomee is die skrywer van verskeie geskiedkundige en politieke publiasies. In 2003 verskyn The Afrikaners – Biography of a people en dit is ook in Amerika en Engeland uitgegee. ’n Jaar later verskyn Die Afrikaners: ’n Biografie. Hy ontvang in 2008 die Helgaard Steyn-prys vir letterkunde vir Die Afrikaners. In 2007 het Nuwe geskiedenis van Suid-Afrika en New History of South Africa verskyn wat hy saam met met die historikus Bernard Mbenga geskryf het.


Happy 10th birthday, Kalk Bay Books!


Kalk Bay Books is 10 years old this month, and have a number of exciting events lined up to celebrate.

What a decade it has been – we’ve learnt a lot, laughed a lot, and cried a bit too. We’ve told stories, listened to stories, made music, made mistakes, made cake. We’ve had some tough luck including fire, flood and roadworks, but mostly we’ve had extraordinarily good luck, including Barbara Kingsolver herself right here in the shop, with the backdrop of a gorgeous full moon over the bay. She said, “How lucky you are to be here”. We agree.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to you, our customers, for keeping us in business so that we can keep on being this lucky.


The Imperfect Life of TS Eliot
I grow old … I grow old …

An evening in celebration of the life and works of TS Eliot, with Finuala Dowling, John Maytham and Lyndall Gordon.

Finuala and John’s dramatic evenings have been a constant source of delight through the years and we’re very much looking forward to this one.

We were proud to launch Gordon’s book, The Imperfect Life of TS Eliot, in 2012. Lyndall is a contributor to Faber’s brand new literary website, a wonderful resource for all things Eliot.

There will be a lucky draw at 6.50. Thanks to Fran from Pan Macmillan, and to Jaco from Jonathan Ball. And to dear Leopard’s Leap, we love you.

Event Details


* * * * *

nullThroughout the day on Friday, 2 December we will be giving away all sorts of surprises. This is made possible by incredibly generous donations from businesses in Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek and Muizenberg; and our publishers.

From 1 to 4 PM:

Paul from Slow Life Records will be in residence with his turntables, playing favourites and taking requests.

And then at 5.30 PM we bring you:

The First Famous Kalk Bay Books Arts and Culture Quiz!

Well it isn’t famous yet. But it will be. So brush up on your Art, Film, Book and Music knowledge. Be among the lucky few to secure a table at the first edition of what we hope will become a regular festive battle of will and wit.

Entrance is R60 per person and includes two bottles of wine and a plate of snacks per team. We will seat nine teams, with a maximum of six people per team.

Booking is essential. This will fill up fast, so get your team together, give it a name, and book asap! Please RSVP to Mary-Ann at, with the word “QUIZ” in the subject line.

Please be here at 5.30 PM for a prompt start at 6 PM, to end at 8 PM. There will be a lucky draw during the break, and prizes for 1st and 2nd teams at the end.

Teamless? Never fear. There will be a team called The Loose Canons, made up of the first six brave people to reply with the subject line “QUIZ Loose Canon”.

Event Details

  • Date: Friday, 2 November 2016
  • Time: 1 PM to 4 PM and the quiz at 5.30 PM
  • Venue: Kalk Bay Books
    124 Main Rd
    Kalk Bay
    Cape Town | Map
  • Guest Speaker: Karena du Plessis
  • RSVP:, with the word “QUIZ” in the subject line

Book details